■ 6 19 75* CAN. 95 s U.K.35p JULY 85 k \to S.CV- ""C 1 1 1 ^f 4l 5©^ I a 7 w — *-/^! CD CD CZ7 ■ Us S3 Thanks to msm Best 10 Books of 1984 © Swamp Thing Jon Sable © American Flagg Teen Titans Fantastic Four © X-Men © Blue Devil O Atari Force y Dr. Strange Power Pack *Best Books of 1984, Per R. A. Jones, Amazing Heroes # 63 indicates trademark of DC Comics Inc . Copyright 8 1985 ' 'Indicates trademark of Atari. Inc. MtKe 8»ARON-/«S'//£' ( i? ED 0AKeTO^AEy<Y<«? JZiCASZOO Vll-UAGI2AN-^V*SS? BOB LAPPAN'iC€77»seve TOM ElUKO'COJcaeS*? ANDY HEUFeB'eSV/O^ ceeAxep gy tgoy tho/v\as, ogggy gjnway and josg SAKCfALOp e g ATARI FORCE 19 Published monthly by DC Comics Inc . 666 Filth Avenue. Umt York, NY 10103 POSTMASTER Send address changes to ATARI FORCE DC Comics Inc Subscription Dept., P.O. Box 1308-F; Fort Lefl. NJ 07024. Annual subscription rate $9 00 Outside USA. $1 1.00 in US funds. Copyright O 1985 DC Comics Inc. All Rights Reserved. The stones, characters and incidents mentioned in this magazine are entirely fictional. All characters featured in this issue and the distinctive likenesses thereofara trademarks of DC Comics Inc. Advertising Representative: Sanford Schwarz & Co.. 355 Lexington Avenue. New York, NY 10017. (212) 391-1400. Printed in U.S.A. DC Comics Inc, A Warner Communications Comoanyflfr /& UtAoeMK takes me co^rreocfi) HUH...WUZZAT? CANT X GET A LITTLE SLEEP AROUNP H6BE? WELL? ©PIT nOUT,aOY! I CONflNllFP ON 3«£ PAGI IQUOWINS.j TO THE CRE/WW CENTER of a aumw OR&FwocoiPtte sanpwich coom. THE WAEMECH 15 PfZOGEAftAMED TO DESTEW ANYTHING that ceo&&ee thizough its zone, maybe champion 15 LEADING HIS LITTLE BANC STRAIGHT INTO A MAS>& SUICIDE.; I VVOLILDN'T PUT IT PAST HtfA. - - «| CONTINUiD ON 2W PAGi fOLLOWING.1 WHAT IS NINJA? A You cm be MM truss deadly tocti- nkiiw'!! 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For a catalog send 50c in coin or stamps to Harold Starbuck 12263 Sruebner Airline Suite #110, Houston, Tx 77067 (713) 893-7242 3 MIL COMIC 8AGS_ jm S5.25pe)r100l»a« ^TW Include 25* tor catalog EMPIRE COMICS 572 Stone Road, Rochester, N.Y. 14618 Closeout Special! Digital Watchas Hours, Minutes and seconds display. Also has month and day display. Has light tor easy night reading. Battery in- cluded. Heavy duty casting and band. RUSH $3.00 to Northwestern Sales Inc. 6593-12 Powers Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32217 LH THAT'S RIGHT-- BUT IT'S NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT VOL) GOT COMING. WIPE THAT SMUG GKIN OFF VOUK FACE AND LOOK AT THE M&S&, CHAMPION... 'a. IT HIM OFF ! ElD /ANTS HIM Ai-IV ent). % hi aT «• dpjffi ^rwf^ ^ DC Comics Inc. 666 Filth Avenue New York, NY 10103 Jenette Kahn. President and Publisher Dick Giordano, Vice Pres. 'Executive Editor Andrew Heifer, Editor Tom Condon, Managing Editor Pat Bastienne, Editorial Coordinator Bob Rozakis, Production Manager Joe Orlando, Vice Pres.-Edltorlal Director Paul Levitz, Vice Pres.-Operations Bruce Brlstow, Marketing Director Arthur Qutowitz, Treasurer We get lettersl So many, in fact, that we're able this time around to prim some of your reactions to both issues #1 5 and #1 6— with plenty more to come next time. Before we get to them, though, we'd like to point out a little something about this month's back- up — the one written and penciled by Ed Hannigan. Ed spent alot of time work- ing on it, so please give it the attention it deserves. Also, don't overlook the ink- ing contribution of Mr. Bill Wray, who is definitely a talent to keep on the lookout for in the future. And finally — con- tinuity freaks who want to know how this Taz back-up fits into the ATARI FORCE chronology have only to care- fully inspect the final panel to get their answer. That's all for now — let's get to the letters... Dear Andy, Mike, end Ed: From a comic which I was originally indifferent to, ATARI FORCE has become one of my favorites. The levels of art, originality, and characterization are far superior to virtually all other team books. Issue #16, "Siege," is a perfect example of this. The lead story involved very little other than the Force being trapped inside Scanner One by an army of giant bugs, yet it remained entertaining and suspenseful right through. Giant bugs are hardly an original form of monster; yet, with intel- ligence and near invulnerability, they made a very vicious threat. The char- acter conflicts between Pakrat and Rident were enjoyable, but, as usual, Dart stole the show. Dart is an excellent character. She's brave, smart, efficient, yet, at times, can be girlish and emotional. I love the current format of the lead story by the regular team, and then the back-up/origin tale by a guest team. The appearance of J'onn J'onzz and others in the Pakrat tale may have been meant as an in-joke, but I think there should be closer continuity with the rest of the DC Universe. That's not to say Superman or Batman should guest star; but, for example, you should have ATARI FORCE alien types speaking interlac, as in the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. In fact instead of having Bob Lappan do all those fancy alien letters, he should use Keith Giffen's interlac alphabet. As for reprinting of the original ATARI FORCE mini-comics, I think they should be shown. Not all of us have the Atari 2600 video game computer. The most that you have shown us is how the force was destroyed, not any of their adven- tures. The best format would be to select the best two or three stories, write a framing sequence, and put them in an annual or special. Anyway, keep up the good work. Michael Pigott 17 Hawking Street Preston, Victoria, 3072 Australia (You're right. Mike — the appearance of our favorite Martian Manhunter was indeed intended as an in-joke. as per- petrated by artist Mike Chen. And that wasn't the only one — as other letter writers have pointed out. Usually we make some effort to play it straight with these "unannounced cameo appear- ances," but Mike has so much fun dropping them in here and there, we decided to let him go wild— and a comical Pakrat adventure was just the right place for him to do it. As far as the use of Interlac goes, we're happy with Mr. Lappan's original creations as they are — why limit reader's imaginations by letting them know exactly what aliens are always saying. Seems to us— it's more fun to speculate ! J Dear Guys, ATARI FORCE #1 6 was the best issue to date. I never would have dreamed that Taz was female. I also never would have dreamed that Rident would be nice enough to congratulate Tazl My favorite part, though, came when Tempest contacted Dart. I'm not just glad because I won a five-dollar bet, I'm glad because I love Chris. Keep him around for a long time! Lynn Tucker Las Vegas, Nevada (Gee, Lynn, we were going to say thet betting on the outcome of comic book plot developments was illegal, and advise you not to do it — but after catch- ing a glimpse at your address, we're not so sure anymore. But just to play it safe — don't take any bets on next issue's trie/— we guarantee it won't end the way you're expecting!) Dear Mike and Andy, I hope you're satisfied. Now every time Pakrat opens his mouth, I'll hear Tom Smothers' voice coming outl The world is not ready for a furry Tom Smothersl Could you have the Martian Man- hunter and E.T. come tomy party? When is it? Whenever they show upl I don't have any Draconian Loose Juice, but there's plenty of Reese's Piecesl David Alan Wright 39 Howard Street New Britain, CT 06051 /'AHA! We see you've spotted another guest star — albeit slightly off-color! As for personal appearances by the two stars in question, we're afraid you'll have to query their personal agents— in the case of Martian Manhunter, get in touch with Mr. Gerry Conway, who details his continuing adventures in the pages of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA each and every month. As for the other guy — try Steven Spielberg! And if you get 'em to come, let us know — we'll bring the loose juice!) Dear Andy, In your back-up story of issue 1 5, 1 like "To Catch a Pakrat" for two reasons. ( 1 ) The story is good. (2)Theart is also good. What I mean by good is "Impressively Awesome!" The story showed that, in the multi- verse, crooks can be male, female, aliens, and come from another part of the universe. Then the story showed that rich people (or aliens) also steal. Not just the poor people (or aliens). So there must be a large variety of "crooks." The art Mike Chen does impresses me. He gives the characters expression and it really shows. You can believe the expressions on their faces. Mike's art gives out distinguished detail and a darn good look. His stuff knocks me out and I hope to see more of his work in other places. Oh! There's one thing I'm curious about. On page 4, panel 1 , on the back- up story: there is a green bald alien with a blue cape and I was wondering if ha was by chancea "Martian. "Who may or may not be related to a Martian in the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA? Ralph Wong 895 Pacific Ave. #434 San Francisco, CA 94133 (You will be seeing more of Mike's work in the future — we've been keeping close tabs on this new talent. Look for' guest art jobs in upcoming issues of WAR- LORD and BLUE DEVIL And than keep an eye peeled for the project Mike is currently hard at work on — an uproari- ous hew mini-series starring none other than the Metal Men!) j CONTINUED ON 3SF PAGl FOUQWING. j THE MOST TAUCEP ABOUT comes evBur—£ygffjf JkwA Mmmm v-^ r* 5 ** /f /f"^ /T/r^ ifcfcitUM mm miMi mmsmi mi WmVl UNIVERSE Will NEVER BE7HE SAME.' SAL0: Enclosed is $1 5.00 per game and $1 .50 for shipping and handling. Pleatis allow 4-6 weeks (or delivery. BATTLEDROIDS is a trademark of FASA Corporation. Copyright* 1984. FASA Corporation. Alt Rights Reserved. fasB Dear Editor, Like the other letterwriters who addressed the matter in #1 6's iettercol, I am sorry that Jose Luis Garcia Lopez is absent from this mag, however tem- porarily. Unlike some of those letter- writers, I am not indignant about the situation, since I realize the realities of the matter. (I might be a little sad or wistful, but not outraged.) The change- over is even easier to take given the quality of the fill-in this issue. Ed Hannigan has gained a certain reputa- tion as an innovative cover artist — and a well-earned reputation it is. He shows here (once again) that his storytelling art la nothing to sneeze at either. I always enjoy Ed's work and I am continually surprised that he haa remained in relative obscurity and without a truly regular spot. And while I'm on the subject, let ma put In a request to see Ed do some scripting, either hem or else- where. I have seen even lee* of his scripting than his art but have enjoyed it nonetheless. And while I'm handing out praise, let me direct some at well- deserving inker Ricardo Villagran for retaining some visual continuity in this fill-in issue. As for the story, It is now obvious that Mike Baron is getting into the swing of things and bringing his astute yet slightly weird abilities into play. Tax's offspring were both surprising and intriguing. Their inborn-but-temporary abilities do seem rather contrived, but I suspect this minor flaw will be counter- balanced by their antics In the month(s) to come. ft was nice to see Rldent acting nicely this iasue, auch as in congratulating Taz about her newborn children. It is too easy to portray the pursuer as single- minded, rough, and holier-than-thou. All brothers have a kind of love/hate- respect/disrespect relationship and I suspect that Rldent and Pakrat's legal disagreements have only served to Intensify the negative feelings and sub- merge the positive ones — not obliterate either one or change the peculiar rela- tionship the feelings have between brothers. Yours truly, T.M. Maple Box 1272, Station B Weston, ONT M9L2R9 fHmmm...We think you may heve a point vis-a-vis the Pakrat/Rident rale- tionthip—next issue's revelations should tell you a bit more about it. As tot Ed Hannigan'* storytelling abilities, we personally think they're out in full force in this issue's back-up story— let us know how you feel about it, won't 'cha, T.M.? And yes. we used Ricardo this issue (as we do in every issue) to keep e visuel continuity going throughout the series. Since Jose Garcia Lopes and Ricardo were there at the beginning, input from either of them seams necessary to retain the original flavor of the book.) figured I would finally write a letter to you guys. In AF. issue 1 4's sub-story, "A Babe in Arms." Babe is back on zhe planet Egg. I have a few questions. (1 ) Does this happen before or after Morphea I* able to return him to his home planet Egg? (2) K this la before he left Egg he shouldn't be able to talkl So how can he? (3) If this is after he returned, how come he looked puzzled when the alien called him "Bab*'? (4) Did the alien get the name Babe by chance? In issue 16 I noticed • few other things, On the front cover of issue 1 6 the bugs are about the size of Dart. Now that did not surprise me until I saw Babe at the end of the episode with bugs about the aize of his finger. If it's a mistake in the proportion, you should be ashamed of yoursefvesi (1) What happened? (2) Are the bugs smaller than Dart? (3) Do the bugs vary in aize? (4) Are you going to give) me a straight answer? Jason Wiley RD 2, Box 81 Vergennes, VT 05491 Age 12 (01 course we'll give you a straight answer. Jason — don't we always? I snicker snicker) About your question on the Babe story — as In the cese of ALL our back-ups. this story takes piece before the Atari Force got together — in this cese. about six months before the interplanetary pirates came to kidnep Babe. The story is really about "leaving the nest" for the first time — and the difficulties involved In doing so. When Babe met the alien — who m happened to speak English (funny thing about aliens, ah?) — the alien called him Babe, and, in addition, gave him his first impromptu English lesson. The name stuck. After all, what else would you call a fourteen- foot blue creature with the proportion- ate strength of an ox? Your second question is eesler to enswer—like practically ell life-forms, the ants differ In site. But you should elso remember that next to Babe, everything else hoks amalin Dear Force, I've read A.F. issues 1 and 3-15 and I Hi. Andy, You will remember I'm the guy who said Mike Baron wasn't the right •winter for a book like AF. Welt, after reading the new #16 I get the feeling those words are going to haunt me for a while. He did in fact turn in one of the strangest yet most enjoyable chapters to date. So nice going, Mike, and please forget those previous comments. Actually, this whole thing has made me wonder how much of this current story line is actually Mike 'a or is it part of plot threads left over from the now departed Mr. Conway? Seeing it was Jerry, Jose, and you, Andy, who created Taz, was it then conceived that he waa a she? Or did Mike come in and say, "Hey, guys, let's do this wild and crazy thing with Taz'? As a budding writer myself, I am really curious about this and hope you'll enlighten ua all in the workings of your creative team. It would be nice to know exactly when Mike 'sown plotting for the AF crew wilt begin, if it hasn't already. Ed Hannigan turned in a fine art package that was quite pleasing to the eye. His -art is clean and very easy to follow. Not like some razzle-dazzle artiata who cram so much on their pages you have to spend hours figuring whet's going on. Lastly the second part of the Packrat back-up was just as great as its initial opening. Bravo, Andy, that's really one funny and action-filled story. The ending ahould be a blast. Holiday greetings to you all, and my sincerest wishes that 85 will be your best year ever. Yours Truly, Ron Fortier PO Box 266 Somersworth. NH 03878 fit's difficult to say where Gerry Conway left off and Mike Baron began In decid- ing the destinies of the members of the , Atari Force. Unlike most comics, theAF has a very strong continuity, without isolated "adventures"— at least not in the traditional sense. In fact, the entire aeries thus far can be looked at as a single adventure. This being said, we must admit that many aspects — includ- ing the true .nature of Taz— were thought up at the outset. In fed, the character waa around at the very start of the creation process, but Gerry decided to wait till a later issue to introduce him/her. When Gerry left scripting the book, Mike was given a very brief outline for future issues— Just enough to let him get en idea of where to go with most of the "dangling" plot elements In the story. Using this, Mike went off on his own directions, being careful to cover the necessary plot points with his own unique storytelling sense. The outline served to give Mike e vsriety of "sign- posts" in the Force's continuing Journey—but how they get there la all Mike's doing!) NEXT ISSUE: The trial that will forever alter the destinies of the members of tho Atari Forcel When you finish reading "The Verdict," we guarantee there won't be a dry eye in the housel Plus: The strangest back-up story yetl Illus- trated by Keith G iff en and scripted by Bob Fleming, this tale of the Hukka makes the Ambush Bug seem pale by comparisonl They said it couldn't be done — er — runt But we ran ft anywayl Don't miss itl —ANDY HELFER CONTINUED ON jgg :\\r~i t-CVQy A NEW CONCEPT IN ROLE PLAYING GAMES! for a catalogue write to: For ages 10 to adult. mayfair games AH character names, renditions, associated slogans, and F«0. Box 5987 indicia are trademarks of DC Comics Inc. TM and Chicago, IL Copyright © 1984 DC Comics Inc. All rights reserved. 60080 COLLECT WtM AW TM indicates Trademark of DC Comics Inc. ©1982 • 1982 Remco Toys, Inc. New York, NY 10010 ^ii^MIl 3^^(ISII ^^Sr "^MIRf ^-J^jwmKp?^*^ ^shS?^ ^\??sE mmm% araBOTOJi . © GUEST MEANWHILE . ABROAD FROM Hello! My name's Paul Butler, I'm 22, hail from the UK, and I guess the fact you're reading this means Dick Giordano (hereafter to be known as "O Great Wise One") is allowing me to explore my own feelings on the comics industry, both here in England and in the United States. Sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin... © Being a British comics collector is not an easy feat, believe me. There are so few British comics of any real merit worth collecting these days. So to quench our ever-increasing thirst for this four-color medium we have to set our sights across the Atlantic to the twin towers of DC and Marvel. To be perfectly honest, Britain doesn't really believe that there is a readership for comics after the age of about fourteen, and so in its infinite wisdom it fails to recognize us. That's not to say there aren't exceptions, there are, but for every WARRIOR, 2000 A.O. and the (very) occasional Marvel (UK) product there are ten or so other comics that offer the same reworkings of old slapstick jokes, poor art, and imbecilic scripting. The annoying thing is, we have the talent. Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and Brian Bolland are the proof. Just pick up an issue of SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, GREEN LANTERN, or CAMELOT 3000 and see for yourself what the more adventurous Brits can do. However, the fact that all three of the above titles are American proves the state of our own industry. How many British talents will be wasted because the industry in England fails to recognize their abilities or feels (wrongly) that there is enough call for their particular styles? Even if that talent is discovered, how can it survive in an industry that seems to stifle originality? ^^ If it's hard work being a British comics collector, it's even harder being a writer or artist! That's why they turn to the American format comic and we, the fans, read them avidly. Its phenomenal success among British collectors must have something to do with its continually expanding horizonB and diversity in titles. Of course the super-hero still dominates (which I sometimes think is a shame), but at least if someone has an idea, and you guys think it's good enough, you'll give it a try... (Here, of course, I refer primarily to DC, since, aside from its two mutant titles and the adventures of a certain thunder god, Marvel hasn't done anything innovative in years.) £fy Some comics succeed, some fail, that's life, but at least they've been given a fighting chance and that is the important thing. In Britain that fighting chance doesn't exist. The American comics industry offers soap opera and excitement, morality plays in miniature, and stories that are just plain funl It doesn't matter what you prefer, it is the choice and the quality that's important. The next time you're looking through the comics on your local newsstand or filing past the racks in a specialty store, allow your hearts to swell a little with pride, think of us in England, and be content in the knowledge that yours is the country with the comics industry. © Thank you, O Great Wise One, and good afternoon to you too. Paul Butler 7 Cobbett's Walk Bisley Surrey England * D c r ON SALE THE CHECK WEEK OF APRIL 4 L 1 S T D Justice League of America 240 Mike Sekoweky returns to pencil a special JLA Casebook tale! D Crisis on Infinite Earths 4: The worlds come to a climactic conclusion, but what can the heroes do? D DC Comics Presents 83: Superman joins with Batman and the Outsiders! D Fury of Firestorm 37: The Weasel turns up to menace Pittsburgh! D Best of DC Digest 62: The Year's Best Batman Stories! □ Atari Force™ 19: At Last, the Force returns to New Earth! □ Hawkman 3:Aquaman and the Elongated Man get drawn into the Shadow War! D Tales of the Teen Titans 55: The showdown between Changeling and the Terminator! D Legion of Substitute Heroes Special 1 : Can the Subs stop Pulsar Stargrave from conquering Matter-Eater Lad's homeworld? a Vigilante 19: It's the Vigilante's last case before Adrian Chase becomes a judge! L J Deadman 3: The Eagle has another chance to kill Boston Brand! Ml ^am iu;/> They're the most awesome heroes fighting the most despicable villains in a universal struggle for power. And they're yours in this incredible collection of twelve action figures. Just squeeze 'em. Each has its own power action. Superman punches. Brainiac kicks. The Flash runs. Get them together and you trigger the endless battle of the Super Powers Collection. Who wins? Who loses? You decide! Hawkman Figures | range in size from 3.9" to 5.2." Wonder The Joker® Woman® Aquaman* Robin'"